It’s Boxing Day…or it could be the day after your birthday. Either one would do.
Anyway, yesterday you received a whole heap of presents, you lucky person you, – one was an extra special, new notebook.
Your notebook is bright and shiny with a lovely patterned cover, a neat elastic loop to keep everything together and a sweet little ribbon bookmark. Oceans of crisp, empty paper waiting to be filled with…what?
You may not have faced this dilemma before and may feel a little overawed by all this wealth of carnet (French for ‘notebook’ - sounds much nicer, doesn’t it?) so here, to the rescue, are twelve ideas for useful and interesting ways of filling your little book.
Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first – a Journal. It doesn’t have to be anything as detailed as Samuel Pepys’ diaries, but jotting a quick note at the end of the day to record events both good and bad can be very soothing and makes interesting reading for the future. You don’t even have to do it every day – just when you’d like to capture a memory or two.
2. ONE-LINER JOURNAL
If the idea of a full-blown journal is daunting, why not try a One-Liner Journal? Just write literally one sentence to encapsulate the day, or an event, or simply how you feel. Or how about only a string of expressive words – no need to even make a complete sentence.
3. DOODLE DIARY
If writing isn’t your thing, what about a Doodle Diary? ‘I can’t draw’ I hear you say. Well, you don’t have to be able to draw to doodle. Start with a shape and find interesting ways to divide and fill it. Let your pencil do its own thing – you’ll be surprised what can come out. Here’s one idea –
4. NEW WORD DIARY
A New Word Diary can be fun to keep. Every day, pick up a word that you didn’t know before and make a note of it and its meaning. This can be very useful when you’re trying to think of a new way to say something and can also be very impressive in conversation. Besides, words are so nice to hoard, don’t you think?
5. MOOD BOOK
One of my favourite ways to use a notebook is as a Mood Book. This involves getting a little bit messy with paper, inks, glue and lots of other bits and pieces, to create designs and pictures which reflect how you feel. Here is an excellent video on this fun way to use a special carnet and turn it into a mini treasure trove of delights.
6. POSITIVITY NOTEBOOK
A Positivity Notebook can be just the thing to do if you’re going through a bit of a tough patch in your life. Instead of writing down all the bad stuff that’s going on, look back at your day and try to find at least three things that you did really well or that you enjoyed. Ok, it’s been a generally poopy day at work but you had a really pleasant conversation with a client, saw a beautiful butterfly fluttering around outside your window and finished that difficult assignment. Positive, see!
7. BULLET JOURNAL
If you tend to be disorganised, miss events and appointments or forget to do tasks, try making a Bullet Journal and you’ll be so super-efficient that you won’t recognise yourself. This method was devised by a clever chap called Ryder Carroll and he’s put together a bullet-by-bullet video guide here. This would be a very good use of one of your notebooks and would probably set you on the road to lifelong organisation.
8. STASH LIST
If you’re a DIY’er or crafty person, filling a notebook with a Stash List of your stuff is a great idea. Better yet, also make a note of exactly where to find each item. How many times have you seen the perfect project and known that you have just the material/yarn/wood/paper or whatever to make it… Oh, and you’re convinced you have enough of the required resource to complete the item, hunt all over to dig it out and then find that your material is just too short or you’ve only one ball of that perfect yarn and need two, etcetera, etcetera. How annoying is that?! Making a stash list will save you all that grief!
9. FLYING NOTEBOOK
How about starting a Flying Notebook with your best friend? This idea works very well if the book is on the small side and your friend lives a distance away. You write, draw or create something in the notebook, pop it in an envelope and post it to your friend. (S)he does the same and posts it back. Over time, you’ll have an ongoing ‘conversation’ between the two of you that will be lovely to look back on in the future.
10. REFLECTIONS BOOK
A Reflections Book is a really nice thing to write in at the end of the day. You can add things like:
- I wish I’d done this better today
- This made me laugh today
- This made me sad today
- This gave me pause for thought today
- This I did really well today
- I wish I’d done this today
It makes you think about the things you do every day and maybe how you can get more out of them.
11. GOALS DIARY
A Goals Diary can be a good thing to keep you focused on the things you want to achieve. Every day, write down a few things you want to do the following day. At the end of that day, tick off the things you managed to do and make a note of how they made you feel. For those you didn’t manage to complete, jot down why you didn’t and forward them to the next day. Don’t beat yourself up about missing them, just have another go.
12. LOVE BOOK
A really nice use for a new notebook is as a Love Book. Write in something every day that a loved one has done to make you love them even more. If it’s your sweetheart, write it for a year and give it to them on Valentine’s Day. If it’s your Mum or Dad, do the same and give it on Mother’s or Father’s Day. It will be so appreciated that you’ll have Brownie points to squander!
So, there are twelve great uses for all of those lovely new notebooks.
If, by some sad chance, you don’t happen to get twelve crisp, new notebooks for Christmas or your birthday, have a look here and you’ll find a wonderful selection to buy yourself for every use. Have fun with whichever ones you choose!